Talking about your strengths
This exercise might seem to suggest that you are not considered competent to structure your own conversations. Not at all. This is just another small attempt to provide a service to you. For a very focused conversation can be beneficial from time to time. If you are interested in trying to gain a greater understanding of your strengths, or the strengths of people in your family or organization, here are a few questions you could make use of:
1. Why not start things off just by asking a direct question like: “What do you think I am good at?” Or, alternatively: “What do you do well and enjoy doing?” Can I be direct myself here by saying this: Own up to your strengths, people! No dodging or dancing around the question is allowed.
2. How are you using one of the strengths you have described in a positive way that benefits other people? Let’s say that you are very good at verbal conversation. I am not so good in that area, so I recognize this as a potential positive strength in other people. So then, what are you doing with this or another strength? Are you making good use of it? Are you using it to help others? Are you letting it rot? I hope not.
3. How have you developed this strength in the past, and how might you need to develop it in the future? Keep in mind, that if you want to become very good at something, even something you are naturally good at…you will need to train and practice. And, why spend loads of time working on your natural weaknesses when you could be polishing and developing your strengths? Just a thought.
4. Can you perceive any potential career possibilities that might be related to this newly identified strength? In other words, how could you get paid to do something that you are naturally already good at and enjoy doing? Is there another role in the organization you are a part of that might make better use of this particular strength? Could your present role be tweaked or adjusted in order to leverage this strength? Would it hurt to ask?
5. How could you maintain a posture of humble dependence on God, while at the same time striving to make good use of your God-given abilities? Is it possible to do both things at the same time? What do you think? If you are familiar with the Bible, what is your take on the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30)? By the way, nobody is strong enough to deal with everything that needs to be done or everything that life can throw at you.
6. Finally, what type of strengths would best compliment yours? Stop and consider, what would be lacking if everyone in your school or family or organization was exactly like you. What would not get done that really needs to get done? Knowing this, will help you also know who you need on your team. And with a team emphasis in mind, how could you simultaneously celebrate your own strengths and the strengths of people around you?
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